International healthcare, medical insurance in Rio de Janeiro


By law, everyone has a right to treatment, from organ transplants to sex-change operations. The state provides basic health care to all citizens with the option to buy private health insurance. Only about 20 percent of the population can pay for additional private insurance.

Private Insurance

The public health system is largely financed by the public sector. Any person who is legally in the country has access to the national health care system. Patients pay nothing at all for doctors' fees, lab fees, hospitalization, surgery, and prescription drugs.

However, for the best access to facilities, it is necessary to purchase additional private health insurance. A high proportion of hospital institutions and beds belong to the private sector, with the responsibility for the health clinics under the direction of the public sector, especially in the poorer regions of the country. Private insurance allows you to choose the doctor, laboratory or hospital from a list of accredited professionals and institutions. You can include or exclude treatment options like dental, specialists for skin or eye problems as well as hospital services, which will influence the monthly payment for the insurance.

There are several hundred firms offering four principal types of medical plans: private health insurance, prepaid group practice, medical cooperatives, and company health plans.

Some hospitals offer insurance directly. However, all exams and consultations have to be done in that specific hospital.

Before agreeing to a contract. Contact the local consumer defense organization (PROCON) to get more information about the reputation and the quality of the company and the health insurance.

Employer Insurance

As a benefit, private insurance may be offered through the employing company. This may or may not require you to pay into the system (which would be automatically deducted from your salary). This is the easiest way to acquire insurance, but may not have the specific coverage you desire.

Update 16/01/2013


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